I decided last week that it was time to bring these bad boys to my kitchen. We were having a leaving lunch at work so it was the perfect time to whip up a batch of these sweet delights from Rachel Allan's Bake book. She suggested pairing them with either butter icing or buttercream icing. Since I had never made buttercream before I decided to have a go at that. Whilst it was really tasty, I found the buttercream melted really easily so I would suggest considering butter icing if you're going to be transporting the biscuits around!
Another note: the biscuit dough was much stiffer than a previous recipe I had tried so you will need a pretty big piping nozzle to pipe it onto the trays (she suggests 1-1.5cm). I attempted with my largest nozzle but ended up just cutting a hole in my piping bag to enable me to pipe!
Viennese fingers (from Bake)
110g butter, softened
50g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
Pinch of salt
For the buttercream icing -
75ml milk (I used semi-skimmed)
65g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
85g butter, softened
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a baking tray.
2) Cream the butter in a bowl until soft. Sift in the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3) Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until combined.
4) Sift in the flours and salt and beat until a combined.
5) Spoon the dough into a piping bag and pipe the biscuit onto the tray in small fingers. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until pale golden brown. Leave to cool for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
*This is where I 'fess up and admit I totally forgot about my biscuits when they were in the oven, they got way over 15 minutes, but nothing a bit of trimming of the ends could fix! They were still so soft to eat :)*
6) To make the buttercream icing: Add the milk and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Whisk the egg yolk in a small bowl and pour the milk onto the yolk, whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the pan and heat over a low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the custard thickens (it should coat the back of a spoon). Stir continuously. Make sure the heat isn't too high or the custard may curdle. Set this aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile whisk the butter in a bowl until soft and light. Gradually pour in the cooled custard, whisking throughout. Add the vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
7) Melt 100g chocolate and dip one end of each finger into the chocolate, using a knife to neatly spread the chocolate on the biscuits. Leave to set on a wire rack.
8) Next sandwich the fingers together with the icing (you could also add a thin layer of jam).
This recipe made 7 paired Viennese fingers.